Photo Credit: Megan Buse
There is a lot of creativity flowing throughout Austin, Texas and much of it is coming from the direction of Wild Child. Each piece of the ensemble has proven within this group, as well as elsewhere and solo, that they are stacked with talent. However, it’s together as Wild Child that they’ll be spoiling music fans across the US with when they hit the road this April in support of their new LP, ‘End of the World,’ out on March 31st via Reba’s Ranch Records. We talked about the album, the touring, and other things like how the instantaneous nature of photos has made them well, you’ll have to keep on reading on to find out.
Kendra: It’s been quite sometime between your debut and 2023’s ‘End of the World.’ Having worked on this record during the wildest of times in modern history, were there any lessons you learned early on with your previous albums that helped you during the writing and recording process this time around?
Wild Child: Honestly the best way for us to create together has always been without agenda…no plan for a record or any kind of music in particular, we just get together and see what happens. It’s way easier to not go in limiting yourself and just let the songs tell you what they want to be. It had been so long since we tried writing and we had both been so busy with our solo projects Sir Woman and Coco Zandi that we weren’t even discussing a fifth Wild Child record. When the pandemic hit, we started doing these virtual meet and greet/shows just to bring people some peace in times of chaos, and by reconnecting with fans that made wild child what it was we decided we absolutely needed to try and make another album…and it fell together as seamlessly as the first four! Felt just as good as it did in the beginning, the songs just got bigger.
Kendra: The title track for this album feels very much like an anthem for everyone who grew up in the ‘00s. Some call them millennials. I call them, my people, Gen Anxious. Every single time “It’s freaking me out” was sung, I thought – same. Other than our government not caring about us, why do you think adults are more anxious than ever today?
Wild Child: I think there is and has always been plenty to freak out about. What makes these times different is the fact that all the information is out in the open it’s just also drowned out by pointless other social media garbage. I have a really hard time with social media myself working in the music industry because it’s literally a part of my job to sell myself to the public and look/act a certain way.
We constantly compare how we are doing to the fake depictions of our peers and even strangers… It becomes really hard for people to be honest about their mental health and ask for help, at a time when everything is openly falling apart. I think that’s definitely a big part of anxiety these days, constant comparison and fear of rejection or being shut down by others. We are more separated than ever even though we can only get through this together and with compassion for one another!
Kendra: The song ultimately spawned from the insane ice storm y’all had some years ago down in Texas. Did you immediately pen “End of the World” after that, or did you wait for it to pass before you really dove into this song?
Wild Child: “End of the World” happened in the middle of the storm, day three of water but the power had come back on. We were supposed to be in the studio the whole week working on the record but the day we were supposed to leave the storm hit. I spend every day trying to get water to all the folks in the retirement center next to my home. We were all so exhausted mentally/physically/emotionally.
Our friend and bandmate John Calvin Abney was staying at my house along with other friends who needed heat, and one day we were sitting in the living room, and he pulled out his guitar and we just started singing about everything that was scaring us at that moment. It turned into a beautiful cathartic sing-along and was healing for all of us. Once we finally made it through the storm to the studio, that was the first song we recorded, and it felt like a massive energetic release for all of us! We all definitely cried making it out of Austin. It was emotional and important for all of us and it’s really special that we were able to get out and channel that energy into making music together and celebrating life and love.
Kendra: Another song on the record, “Photographs,” made me think of society’s obsession with taking photos. It’s like no one can eat without there being a grandiose photoshoot when in reality it’s like, you’re in a Denny’s. Do you think the instantaneous nature of photos today makes them less…not so much valuable, but meaningful over time?
Wild Child: I definitely agree. I’m a huge fan of polaroids and disposable cameras for that very reason. Having a camera phone is great on the road because you see and experience so much you want to remember, but I do think it has a negative impact on your memory when you rely too much on your phone to capture things. Not to mention the fact that capturing the moment actually takes you out of it. It’s scary that people act like if it’s not posted about it didn’t happen. I like to keep experiences to myself for that very reason.
Kendra: On top of the record, you’ve got your first post-COVID tour planned for April and May where you’ll be hitting home on May 5th at Emo’s. When live music was essentially one of the first things taken off the table in 2020 did you think, well…that’s it. Time to become an accountant?
Wild Child: Absolutely not. I couldn’t do anything but music and would be the absolute worst desk job employee of all time. I would be a fantastic homeless musician before an accountant.
Kendra: Time for a side note – We’d love to know when you perform, do you have any sort of lucky charms you take with you on stage, or do you have any sort of pre-show traditions you do to ensure you have a great show?
Wild Child: Zandi and I have gone through many pre-show dances/handshakes/singalongs. I feel like they change every record… I can’t wait to find out what the pre-show ritual for ‘End of The World’ is.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘End of the World’ out on March 31st and a tour planned for this spring, what else can the world expect from Wild Child this year?
Wild Child: As of now just trying to get to as many cities as possible to share this music! There will also be new records coming out from myself (Sir Woman) and Coco Zandi this year!